NewSong releases “Faithful,” live worship recording

The Official Publication of the Church of God of Prophecy

Singer Russ Lee talks about process behind the recording and the state of the band


Faithful, a collection of new worship songs by veteran music group NewSong, releases today. The album includes the catchy acoustic-led title track, a contemporary version of “Rock of Ages” and the bouncy “Bride of Christ,” among others. Singer-songwriter Russ Lee recently discussed some of the process behind the record.


newsongfaithfulFaithful is a live worship record, right?

The songs are all live. The album is all live. There were a few guides when we did the recording. We played over the top of it. When you travel on the road with people like Matt Butler, Mark, Rico, they make it sound really good. We’re working with Nathan Nockels, who’s a genius.


Where did the idea for a new worship album originate?

We started thinking about a new project. Integrity approached us about a new project. They kept talking about Rescue, that we did years ago. Some of the songs we’ve done that have endured are those songs. We’re all worship leaders at heart. We’re all worshippers at heart. Billy Goodwin was one. That was our background. It made sense for us to do a worship album. We were doing “How Great Thou Art” and “Rescue.” We loved the idea of working with Integrity again. They know what they’re doing, with a passion. The guys with David C. Cook and the guys from Ireland. We just love their heart, their passion for worship. We met them in Colorado last year and fell in love with them. We wanted to write some of the songs and find some strong songs coming to the church, like “Creed” and songs like that.


With several lead vocalists, how do you decide who’s doing what?

We get in a room and start rehearsing and feel the song out. For instance, the song “Make a Way,” Matt has a daughter who came through difficulty and he’s got such a great testimony of God’s faithfulness. Not all of us have a story. We all need that hope. I may write a song and feel that it would be better for someone else to sing. Everything sounds great for Billy Goodwin to sing. He’s definitely the original voice of NewSong. I end up singing a lot of the songs that I write on, because I may have the vision. We feel it out in rehearsals. We make that turn and see where it lands. It’s nice on a worship album to be part of a collaborative effort because this music is not centered on us anyway. What really matters is what God wants to happen. Let’s see where this sits. If Matt Butler is singing, we figure out how to accentuate what he’s doing. It’s just us trying to be sensitive.


This core group has been in place for a while now.

I came back in 2009 and been here since. Matt’s been here for a while. It was the same four guys for 12 years. Michael O’Brien. Then they were kind of in transition looking for that person that was a fit onstage. You really learn the personalities of the people you’re working with. We feel like a band of brothers moving forward. Christ is the center of what we do. It helps us in those moments when we’re tired. It helps us because we remember it’s not about us anyway. We’ve made the decision to really pull for each other and because of that, we celebrate each other’s victories. We’re closer than family in a lot of ways. That’s one of the reasons that NewSong has endured.

When I came back, I didn’t really want to do it and God spoke to my heart, “What if it’s not about what you want to do? What if it’s coming and lifting up Billy and Eddie’s arms? – Is there a better place to be than alongside someone who’s been a champion and a legacy?” They may be experienced but musically they’re growing and they’re open to what God wants to do. Because of that, Eddie and Billy hold NewSong with open hands, not closed fists. When I came on, Billy Goodwin was the lead singer for so long but he shared that with others. It’s that mentality that helps us. . . being in a group and being able to throw the ball to someone who can carry it to the end zone.


What else can you tell us about the record?

There’s a lot of different musical ideas and faces on the record. I wrote the song “Faithful” with All Sons and Daughters. It just reminded me that you and I are alive because of the faithfulness of God. We started writing that song. All the songs we recorded were the result of what God was doing through us. We live in a day when Christians need to know what they believe. All of these songs were either born out of relationship, we’d written with Elias of City Harmonic before, he’s very intelligent. he walked into the room and we love City Harmonic. He wrote a song with us on the last record called “Could It Be?” He played guitar on this writing session. The whole process of this album was really fun. We love the local church. We’ve always been involved and very connected to the local church. We’re on the same mission and same commission.

—DeWayne Hamby

Watch the video for the lead single, “Faithful,” below:

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